Tag Archives: free

My favorite apps

So, what is my favorite programs in the computer world?

Web browsing: Google Chromium (not to be confused with Google Chrome)

This is a simple browser which gets me where I want fast. I have the possibility to “take my bookmarks” with me to another computer that also have Chromium, if I am logged in to my Google account in the browser. However, since I do not want Google to know everything about me, I have disabled this in my Chromium browsers.

Text editor: Gedit

A simple to use text editor which has many advanced features available to it. Definitively one of my favorite apps in the computer world, since I have web development as one of my hobbies and I diligently use it. It has syntax highlighting for many different languages, such as html, php, C++ and Java to name a few of those.

Gaming: Minetest

A Minecraft-like game where you can dig yourself underground, build streets, buildings, caves and hide from or fight mobs. In the newest nightly builds there are no mobs, so you can build things in a big sandbox-like world but on the other hand, you could stumble on some irritating bugs. You have also the possibility, like in minecraft, to start a server and play in one map with your friends. There are also some mods, maps and other stuff that you can find in their website to add into your minetest game.

Score editing: MuseScore

This is a free, multi-platform software which lets you start writing scores right away. I use this in my education when my teacher would want to have some scores arranged. I have the possibility to save the score in .pdf-format or music xml, which lets score writing programs share scores between them. There is also a website that lets MuseScore users share their sheet music with each-other.

Office software: LibreOffice

A spinn-of from OpenOffice. LibreOffice started to be developed when Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems and in the fear of that it would discontinue the OpenOffice project or place some restrictions onto it. It fulfills my needs in the case of office software.

All of the presented software products are open source or free software. Both as in freedom and as in free beer.


An alternative to Windows or Mac

Yes, you have guessed it right. I am going to talk about a distribution of Gnu/Linux, or Linux. *

Linux Mint is an easy operating system, in the matter of user-friendliness. You do not need to think whether you would need to install X or Y, you can run the operating system right after installation. Of course, if you want to install a package, you can easily do that through the software manager. There you can browse multiple programs, called “packages”, such as games, web browsers and image editors to name a few.

It is completely without fee (if you download the .iso package), and the only thing that you would need would be either a CD/DVD disc or usb stick that can hold the size of the .iso file. It should work directly out-of-the-box, but if you would need some extra packages (that could not be included due to legal reasons) just install them easily through the software manager.

Remember, if you install this on your computer, all your files on your hard drive will be removed. This is true, if you install it onto the whole hard drive. So remember to make a backup of your hard drive if something would go wrong or if you would regret installing it.

* There is a controversy about the naming of the operating system, since the kernel is called Linux and the user-land/packages on top of the kernel is made of GNU‘s tools.

Free alternative to MS-office

Lets say you need a free office suit, that can write documents and spreadsheets (and other things also) as an alternative to MS office. Then you could install LibreOffice, which is a multi-platform office suit. You can install it on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X Tiger or newer, and Gnu/Linux operating systems based on the 2.6.18 or newer kernel. You can save your documents in .doc, .docx, .pdf and in .odf format. The latter is also the standard format in which the word files are saved. The programs included are:

Writer is the word processor, similar to Microsoft Word. You could use it to make a memo, or write a book with it. It is simple to use but has many nice features in my opinion.

Calc is the spreadsheet program, tha is similar to Excel. Calculate your budget or manage data. Rich in features.

Impress is the presentation program, like MS Powerpoint. Make a nice presentation with 2D or 3D clipart, and convince people with it.

Draw is an”All-Purpose Diagramming and Charting Tool” as described in their website.

Base is a database tool, similar to MS Access.

Math is the formula editor in Libre Office.

I myself use Writer and Calc and am very happy with those applications. The best part is that the software is Free/Open source software (it is licensed under the LGPLv3 license). It means that the users has the freedom to do whatever the users like with the software including sharing it with friend. Or sell it. As long as you give every end-user the rights you were given.

Give it a go, and you maybe will like it. If you do not like it, then just to uninstall it. Piece a cake.